ISBN 9781868882298
Pages 128
Dimensions 229 x 152 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2003
Publisher UNISA Press, South Africa
Format Paperback

Our Dream Deferred

The Poor in South Africa

by Abebe Zegeye, Julia Maxted

'If in time, the reality of the absence of fundamental change convinces the disadvantaged majority that we have created a political democracy which is unable or unwilling fully to dismantle the system of racial oppression and exploitation, then we must expect that the dream deferred will, rather than wilt in the sun, explode!' - Thabo Mbeki, 1994.

This book assesses how far South Africa has come in uprooting poverty since this pronouncement. It traces developments from the end of the apartheid economic system, that institutionalised and perpetuated poverty, and some of the highest levels of inequality in the world; to the new era, which grew out of this regime, and is characterised by black stratification, and an ever widening gap between rich and poor. The authors further consider how pressures from the global economy and domestic private sector are compounding a cruel dilemma for the State of how to manage the political costs of necessary economic reforms; but warn against failure to achieve poverty reduction required for genuine social transformation.

The book represents an imaginative and polemical approach to poverty debates, and in particular to the widespread rural poverty of South Africa. It considers the problems from sociological and economic perspectives, and illustrates its arguments with literary sources such as, extracts from novels, poems, and township songs of resistance. The authors are a sociologist and a geographer from the Universities of South Africa and Pretoria.

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'This book, clearly written and jargon free, deserves a large audience and will appeal to academics and the general public as well and is recommended for libraries at all levels'.

Lyn S. Graybill, Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction

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